The Global Environment Facility (GEF) programme entitled “Implementing Sustainable Low and Non-Chemical Development in Small Island States (ISLANDS)” will support the entry of thirty-three (33) SIDS in the Caribbean, Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans, into a safe chemical development pathway. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is implementing a child project under this programme with GEF ID 10472 in three (3) Caribbean countries: Bahamas, Cuba and Dominica. The Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean (BCRC-Caribbean) is the executing agency for this project.
Project objectives, in accordance with the four components of the programme, include:
- Component 1 – Preventing future build-up of chemicals in the SIDS environment;
- Component 2 – Safe management and disposal of existing, historically produced wastes posing an immediate risk to people and natural resources;
- Component 3 – Promoting systems for future management of wastes and chemicals entering SIDS by adopting and putting into practice 3R approaches including increased recovery of resources from wastes by adopting the principles of sustainable consumption and production;
- Component 4 – Sharing knowledge and experience across all regions to address issues common to all SIDS and to stimulate inter regional cooperation to combat major global level challenges posed by wastes such as plastics, electronics, and other major pollutants.
On June 17 2021, the CEO Endorsement Document for this project was submitted to UNEP for review and transmission to the GEF Secretariat. The CEO Endorsement Document was approved by the Chief Executive Officer of the GEF on November 22, 2021. The National Executing Arrangements Meeting, hosted by the BCRC-Caribbean on February 09, 2022 was aimed at discussing GEF ISLANDS Programme Structure, project implementing and executing arrangements, considerations for national execution, including the formulation of the National Working Groups (NWGs), as well as expectations of the Project Steering Committee and in-kind support.
In terms of next steps for the project, countries would submit their listing of NWG members to the BCRC-Caribbean, giving indication as to the National Focal Points for the Project. Details on the workplan and proposed synergies would then be presented at the Project Inception Meeting, carded for March 11, 2022. Synergies with the other Caribbean GEF ISLANDS Projects will also be explored at that meeting.